On North
Korean Calendars

A Pyongyang Home Companion No. 13 // The 2018 DPRK calendar collection

Thank you for the days
Those endless days those sacred days you gave me
I`m thinking of the days
I won`t forget a single day believe me.
- Elvis Costello

Welcome to 2018, Juche year 107. For 2018 we have been presented with 8 different calendars on various themes.

Gregorian calendar dates are used in the DPRK for years before 1912, and years from 1912 onwards, (1912 being the year of Kim Il Sung's birth) are known as ‘Juche years’.

Each calendar states on the cover page ‘The Great Comrades Kim Sung and Kim Jong Il Will Always Be with Us’. Inside they list the dates of leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il’s birth in a highlighted red numeral (the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un is not mentioned). In text are written dates that the Koreans deem as politically important, for example:

14th February ‘ The great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il was honoured with the title of the DPRK Generalissiomo’

Important dates will be denoted as red numerals which also refer to a national holiday. More traditional information is also included such as:

March 2nd Jongwoldaeborum, the 15th day of the first month by the lunar calendar (Korean folk festival)

The majority are printed by the Foreign Language Publishing House but certain groups publish their own versions such as Korfilm. They do not tend to get sold in the hotel shops but tend to be given out to Korean companies who pass them on as gifts to their foreign colleagues (for free!).

This year’s bevvy of beauties consists of the following subjects:

GIFTS GALORE (Foreign Language Publishing House) // Various items of porcelain presented to the leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on show at the International Friendship Exhibition at Mt. Myohyang. We have a number of group tours scheduled throughout the year that visit this eclectic exhibition. It includes the work ‘Peace’ donated to Kim Jong Il from Reverend Billy Graham in 1992 (see below).

KOREAN FOOD BONANZA (Foreign Language Publishing House) // Traditional Korean foods from delicious Pyongyang Cold Noodles to the rather dubious sea cucumber (see below).

CUT! (Korea Film Export & Import Corporation) // Includes TV series and feature films from 2017. There has been a bit of a shake up in the film industry and for next years calendar expect something more contemporary. You heard it hear first!

CERAMICS GALORE (Foreign Language Publishing House) // A collection of contemporary Korean vases.

SAFARI ON THE LAWN (Foreign Language Publishing House) // Collection of animals in the zoo with a montage the inmates having a rather jolly time on the lawn of the newly modeled zoo entrance.

FILMS ROLL ON (Korea-Pyongyang publishing) // A near identical copy of the above but with the addition of The Mothers Happiness of her boxing son.

SEASONAL SNAPS (Foreign Language Publishing House) // Seasonal landscapes including historic architecture and a winter shot of Pyongyang.

TRADITIONAL ART (Korea Stamp Corporation) // Images of stamps depicting historic Korean traditional paintings

And some more highlights below, including this dancing duo of dogs.

A Pyongyang Home Companion is a guide to daily life in Korea: how-to, food, sports, modern culture, and romance.

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